I often get questions about the gear I use for flying, and about the gear I use for recording video and audio in the cockpit. I try to answer all of these questions in this post. I will start with an overview of the contents of my flight bag. I will give comments on each item as I see fit, in order to provide some background information supporting my choices, and to make it easier for you to see if a similar item would make sense for you. Then I will cover the settings used on my main media recording devices. Finally, I will provide a few tips and tricks about editing flying videos.
So what is in the bag?
My flight bag is an old North Face laptop bag, I don’t even know its type anymore (as it is not in production anymore for a long time already). I did not manage to find anything better which would fit all the stuff that I personally need in the plane, even though I must have checked out at least a hundred flight bags online. It is showing heavy signs of wear and tear already, but I think I will be using it until it really breaks.
While supervising the Master students at our telescope on La Palma last autumn, I completed the missing scenes for a new version of my Mercator time-lapse movie. Please set it to at least 720p, or go to YouTube and set it to 1080p and full screen, and enjoy! (I know this is not very recent news, but it would be a pity to not have this as a memory on the blog.)
PS.: sorry for not posting during the last half year…
Ok, so besides getting my second paper accepted, I also had an extremely successful month on the road bike: 1420 km, 46h 40m, 5550 m elevation gain, 37500 kcal burned, with an average of 30.4 km/h, 158 bpm, and 91 rpm. My best month so far. Yeah!
I am back again on La Palma at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) – for the 4th time already. I have 11 nights of work at the Mercator Telescope, then I will fly to Tenerife to continue there with another instrument. As always, I can only say that this island is amazing. Every time I take the taxi from the airport to the observatory, I can not stop staring out the window to look at the landscape. This is the first time I am here during summer, and I have to admit that the temperature is much nicer up here at 2300 meter, than it is in e.g. October. I don’t need my winter coat anymore, and I don’t need to put a kilogram of warm clothes (knee warmers, arm warmers, neck warmer, wind coat, rain jacket, etc.) on when I roll down with the bike on the morning, a simple jacket is enough. So during the day it is typically ~20°C (but it feels much more thanks to the Sun), while on the morning it is around ~15°C. Now again I took my racing bike with me (and I will have a week of cycling after my observing run on Tenerife), so already here I use it every day to commute between the Residencia and the Mercator Telescope.
I need to ride up once before dinner to start the calibrations (~5 PM), then I roll down to eat (~7 PM), and after a small nap I ride up to catch the sunset (which is around 9 PM) and start the observing night. Then I work till the Sun rises, and go down to sleep around 7:30 AM (and sleep from 8 AM to 4-4:30 PM). The ride itself is 2.65 km @ 6.9% with a maximum over 100 meters of 10.3% (a hard 3rd category climb in Tour de France terms), so it is not extremely difficult, but riding above 2000 m makes every climb a bit more challenging (click on the climb-plot and it will be bigger). But it is very good high-altitude training, and 3 times faster than walking! (I don’t even think about driving up with a car, that’s not my thing :D)
On the last afternoon I rode a new personal best up to the telescope, reaching the ‘summit’ in 11m 09s, which corresponds to a VAM of ~1000 Vm/h (yeah, I know it is not really a pro value, but who cares :D)! My previous bests from last October and this May were 12m 05s and 11m 36s, respectively, so the improvement is very clear. Oh, and these were ridden while carrying a backpack… After this record ride, I took the evening ride a bit easier and recorded the scenery (turn the volume down, if you don’t want to listen to my still quite hard breathing…). It is a nice place to work at ;)
This evening, one and a half year after it had appeared on YouTube, I finally watched “HOME” (during a low intensity recovery session on my indoor trainer). Climate change and overpopulation are known problems for the planet and its citizens. And among them; for us, humans. Independent of skin colour, country, origin and religion. It is our problem. A chain of problems which were and are caused by us…
It should be obligatory to watch this movie for all of us. You have one and a half hour for this. You must have this time, and now, not later. Because then it might be already too late… Watch the full movie on YouTube. And then think about how you live, and what do you do for our Home. And then think about the most important question: What are we waiting for?